Latest update on the Competition Framework

Read the latest from the Competition Framework as the testing phase continues ahead of launch in April 2018

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Crews racing at the 2016 British Rowing Senior Championships (c) Naomi Baker

Over the past six months, British Rowing has been testing the new Competition Framework which is due to launch in April 2018. The rowing community asked for closer, fairer and more exciting racing, and more flexibility from a new Competition Framework.

The new Framework was developed to meet the needs of all the different variants of racing and progression systems for heads and regattas. This has been a challenge, but one that we are managing to overcome with the approach we have taken.

During the test phase, 107 competitions have used the new Competition Framework, including BROE2, which provides a better and more transparent system for managing and entering competitions. More than 29,000 crews have been entered through the system, which has allowed us to further develop it to ensure it works for all competition types.

A key part to testing the system has been the inputting of results from the heads and regattas that have tested the new Framework this season. Uploading the results from the heads and regattas while running two systems in parallel, and allocating both new and old style points, has been challenging.

Many competitions are unique so the data upload requires a re-write of the code to cater for that type of data within the existing software. For example, Henley Women’s Regatta uses bespoke events instead of bands and therefore a different upload for their data is required. Once code for each type of competition has been written during the test phase, it will allow data to be uploaded more easily once the system is launched in 2018. By the end of 2017 we anticipate having completed this process.

 >>> Read our Competition Framework mythbusters series

Beyond the technology, the new Framework and the allocation of Ranking Points has also been tested by heads and regattas over the past few months. The Ranking Index ranks rowers according to where they finish and how many other crews they beat at head races and regattas.

In short, when you compete against other crews, the higher the position you finish, then the more Ranking Points you get. So, the more you race, the more people you beat, the more ranking points you get. When you enter a competition, it’s your best eight points scored on record that generates your Personal Ranking Index (PRI), which determines what level you race at and who you race. A decision made by each individual competition. This is aggregated over time, so if you ease back from racing your PRI will fall meaning you continue to race against other rowers of similar ability.

By creating a Ranking Index, this provides competitions with the flexibility they asked for to decide how they want to structure and run their events. When crews enter competitions, the combined Ranking Points will be viewable to the competition organisers and, from this, the competition will then decide how they want to structure and band an event, including how many bands will be offered, which differs depending on the competition. Some may offer only one band; others four or more. This flexibility is designed to allow competitions the freedom to adapt to the needs and requirements of their particular market and audience.

The old system disadvantaged some to the advantage of others; this new Framework seeks to remove this so there is a level playing field. From the test phase, there is evidence from competitions to suggest that the new Framework is both working and a considerable improvement on the old system.

Senior volunteers, who have been active in the sport and are experienced in the running of competitions, have been instrumental in the development, testing and delivery of the new Competition Framework, working in conjunction with British Rowing staff.

During this test phase we are actively listening to opinions, from athletes, coaches and competition organisers, and we recognise there are learnings from recent competitions that need to be shared with the rowing community before the launch next spring.

Post launch, the Framework will continue to evolve as we endeavour to improve the accuracy of the Ranking Index, the flexibility of the system to cater for the range of needs across competitions, the publication of Ranking Points and also to develop BROE2 as a key piece of software.

To check your Ranking Points, login to your membership account and click on Ranking Points.

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